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Making up Numbers: A History of Invention in Mathematics
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  • Title: Making up Numbers: A History of Invention in Mathematics
  • Author(s) Ekkehard Kopp
  • Publisher: Open Book Publishers (October 15, 2020); eBook (Creative Commons Licensed)
  • License(s): CC BY 4.0
  • Hardcover/Paperback: 280 pages
  • eBook: HTML and PDF
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10/ASIN: 180064096X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1800640962
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Book Description

This book offers a detailed but accessible account of a wide range of mathematical ideas. Starting with elementary concepts, it leads the reader towards aspects of current mathematical research.

The book explains how conceptual hurdles in the development of numbers and number systems were overcome in the course of history, from Babylon to Classical Greece, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, and so to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The narrative moves from the Pythagorean insistence on positive multiples to the gradual acceptance of negative numbers, irrationals and complex numbers as essential tools in quantitative analysis.

This book will be of great interest to undergraduate and A-level students of mathematics, as well as secondary school teachers of the subject. In virtue of its detailed treatment of mathematical ideas, it will be of value to anyone seeking to learn more about the development of the subject.

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